From D-Day veteran to notorious Liverpool nightclub
THE story of how LCT 7074 came to be housed in Hall A of Portsmouth Naval Base is extraordinary.
Commissioned in April 1944, the vessel was laid down on the River Tyne in north east England, weighing 350 tonnes.
She headed to Normandy from Folkestone, Kent with the prestigious 7th Armoured Division – otherwise known as the Desert Rats and was part of the first wave, carrying ten tanks to the shore.
Her arrival at Gold beach, came at near midnight on June 6, carrying a Cromwell Tank of 22 Armoured Brigade HQ with a five-man crew, two Sherman Tanks with 12 crew and seven Stuart tanks of the 5th Royal Tank Regiment and 28 crew onboard.
Her commanding officer was a 20-year-old Royal Naval reserve trainee from Swindon.
Following the war, she was decommissioned in 1948 and later sold to Merseyside Master Mariners and converted into a floating club house and nightclub along the Liverpool waterfront called Landfall during the 70s and 80s.
She was acquired in the late 90s by the Warship Preservation Trust, which began the process of converting her back into an LCT, however the group went into liquidation back in 2006.
In early 2010, the ship became semi-submerged in Wallasey Dock in a visibly deteriorating state.
At the urgent behest of National Historic Ships, the National Museum of the Royal Navy was able to obtain just under a million pounds from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and rescued the LCT. She was brought to Portsmouth in October 2014, housed in the confines of Hall A, waiting to be restored.